Hot August days call for some cool reads. Whether you’re at the beach, on a flight or boat, doing the old staycation, or working by day/reading by night, here’s a round-up of a few worthwhile reads…some may even be at your library as we speak.
Based on the true story of Colonel Jabob Ruppert, the filthy-rich man who owned the New York Yankees during the Jazz Age, BACHELOR GIRL follows the career of unknown actress, Helen Winthrope Weyant from second-rate NYC playhouses to ultimately inheriting the bulk of Ruppert’s vast wealth upon his death–including Yankee Stadium.
Was she his May-December lover? What possessed Ruppert to overlook his relatives and give most of everything to her upon his death in 1939?
The novel opens with the reading of the will and then takes the reader back in time–back before Helen had ever heard the name of Colonel Jacob Ruppert.
This historical novel also introduces us to Albert Kramer, Ruppert’s hunky personal secretary. Both Albert and Helen are emotionally damaged souls who come to love, respect, and lean on one another. And both benefit from their association with Colonel Ruppert–the man is as generous as he is mysterious.
But everything eventually comes out in the wash of death, and when Ruppert’s secrets surface, even Helen and Albert must confront the reality that things are not always what they seem.
The novel alternates between Helen and Albert’s points-of-view, and many times this reader was more intrigued by Albert’s story-line. For this reason, I think the novel’s title may be misleading, but the story is well worth a read.
Truth is always stranger than fiction. This story is based on the actual events that became tabloid fodder back in the heyday of America’s innocence. It explores the meaning of self, family, and love against a beautifully written, historical backdrop.
Foxy Writer Chick’s Rating – Four out of Five Foxes
ELIGIBLE: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld, Random House, New York, 2016. 488 pages.
Leave it to Curtis Sittenfeld to bring Jane Austen’s beloved classic, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE into the 21st century. This is a fun, fast read. Sittenfeld’s voice is spot-on and rife with humor. I found myself belly-laughing as I read.
Forty-year-old Jane Bennett wants a baby. She’s been getting IVF from an anonymous sperm donor when both she and her favorite sister, thirty-eight-year-old Liz Bennett are summoned home to help out after her father has a cardiac scare.
The family home is in a tony suburb of Cincinnati, but things again are not what they seem. The Bennett family is…ahem…shhh….b-r-o-k-e.
Oh the horror! How will Mrs. Bennett hold her head up at the Cincinnati Country Club? How will she save face with the other “good families” of Cincinatti? Especially since none of her five daughters have made it down the aisle.
Enter Chip Bingley, a new-to-Ohio doctor and former heartthrob on a Bachelor-like reality show, “Eligible.” Poor Chip hasn’t found his match, though, as the twenty-five ladies he met last season were just not “his person.” Arriving in town with brother Chip, bitchy sister Caroline Bingley, who has her eyes on brother’s BFF, a surgeon by the name of Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Throw Jane and Liz into a social scene where Chip, Caroline, and Darcy also make an appearance, and hilarity and misunderstandings ensue.
This is an astute 21st century exploration of a family expectations versus a P.C. culture run amok. How important is money and status in matters of the heart? And where does romantic love rank against family obligation?
Narrator Liz takes readers on a fast run through love, hate, sex, loyalty, money (or the lack thereof) and all that pressure to get to the finish line–whether that be at the matrimonial altar or the hospital delivery room.
Joyfully, she does so in the leisurely narrative style of Jane Austen herself.
Foxy Writer Chick’s Rating – Five out of Five Foxes
Happy reading! Thanks for stopping by!